Spring Fling Week 3

By: Garrick Valverde

It’s Saturday afternoon and a group of our riders decided to meet at Chipotle to have a pre race meal and to discuss tactics a few hours ahead of the race. The weather could not have been better. We ate outside in the sun while cracking jokes and raising all of our excitement for the race to come.

On race day I always get waves of nerves. They come up sometimes randomly and I feel them in my gut, like a jolt of energy. While we’re talking strategy someone will say, “Ok, so Garrick you’ll attack coming into the 3rd lap. Go hard but don’t be doing 1000 watts.” SMASH there goes another wave. No one sitting around the table would ever notice; the nerves are hidden. When I was first starting out racing these waved of nervousness used to make me feel sick to the point where I couldn’t eat. Now I welcome them. I even look forward to them. They charge me up.

After we all got registered and our numbers were pinned, we set out on an easy hour and a half ride to warm up and fine-tune our strategy. We knew we’d be the biggest team with seven riders so we’d have many cards to play. Our prime objective was to get Michael Allison the win. The spring fling is a point-based series. Michael won the first weekend, and a win today would help secure an overall win for the series. The race course is a flat .8 mile loop. Breakaways are almost always the final outcome, and there are three sprint laps with points up for grabs to the top four riders.

I lined up next to Benn Stover on the start line at the back of the field of just over 20 riders. Small races many times prove to be the hardest with nowhere to hide. Benn and I quietly talked with each other about which teams and specific riders to be aware of. The race started and the pace was quite chill for the first couple laps. Our objective these first few laps was to float mid pack and attempt to make a selection with as many of the Olathe Subaru riders as possible coming into the 3rd lap. My role was to gun it coming through the start finish with several of the team on my wheel. The hope was that we could get a split on the field after turn 1 and 2. As we approach the 3rd lap, I crouched low over my bars and went for it. After 15 or so seconds of hard pulling, I flicked my elbow for Kent to come through. We were flying. But as I looked back, the whole field, although strung out, were on our wheels. As Benn started his pull I shouted to scratch the plan.

The pace lulled for just a couple seconds. With some great improvisation, Kent attacked. The field hesitated. Grayson Warrior from Team Colavita went and I got on his wheel. At this point, race tactics have to be primarily reaction based. Things are happening so fast and the pain is quite high that, for me anyways, I’m not really thinking much. I’m just highly aware of the situation.

Grayson made a massive effort up to Kent, but the field was close behind us. Ian Silovsky countered and again the field lulled. A few different teams worked to pull Ian back. It took about a half lap. Once he was caught, Benn attacked by himself. I’ll just say at this point I’m hurting. I’ve gone hard several times in the span of less than ten minutes. With such few riders to help pull these attacks back, I know the break will likely form in the next few laps.

With Benn about 30 meters up the road, the chase took a momentary pause as the riders taking turns at the front look for help. Michael Allison and I attacked at this moment and a few riders went with us. I believe we had five total, but unfortunately Benn was not with us, so our representation in the break could have been better. About a lap and a half goes by and my pain is bad. I’ve been taking really hard pulls (maybe harder than I should have) to get the break established. I’m a little fuzzy on the details but Benn, Scott, and another rider made a great bridge to our group. A sharp acceleration for a preme dropped me. I was in no mans land trying to claw my way back when Joe Petersen from Rasmussen Bike Shop caught me. I’ll be honest, I haven’t heard of Joe before, but he is tough. He pulled me up to the break, now seven riders strong (four Olathe Subaru riders). The other riders are Joe, Jack Funk from Team Arapahoe Resources, and Ethan Luebbe from Blue River Bicycle club.

The seven of us were pulling well together and we went though the start line and heard the gap was 20 seconds to the field. At this point, I was solely focused on our tempo. The laps ticked down surprisingly fast. While the break was forming, we had our first sprint at 25 laps to go. I believe Michael was 2nd. The second sprint was at 15 laps to go and Michael won that. Michael won the final sprint lap with 9 to go. Scott Williamson took 2nd in couple of the sprint laps, earning him valuable points. At some point we lapped the field. The main focus was on the three other riders. Jack was the only one really going for a solo ride and his numerous attacks really hurt, however there were too many of us there to chase him down. With one lap to go, Benn led the field for ¾ of the lap. Coming out of the second to last turn I gave it everything I had with Michael on my wheel. We came through the final turn and the rest of the riders were gapped off. With 200 meters to the line Michael opened up his sprint. I looked back and saw our gap, and I couldn’t help but celebrate early with a fist pump. We did it. Michael 1st, Scott 2nd, me 4th, Benn 7th, and Kent 8th. For sure a great day of racing.

Next weekend we’ll be at Spring Fling on Saturday and head to NWA Classic in Arkansas on Sunday.

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Louis Garneau Course Helmet Review

We are so happy (and thankful) to be riding some of the best equipment for this upcoming 2015 season. One of which is the Course Helmet from Louis Garneau. This is our rider review for this beauty. Enjoy!

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LG Course

First off I am willing to bet that most of us are attracted to a product because of aesthetics reasons first, not function. We must applaud LG for their killer design. I personally think its one of the most visually pleasing helmets on the market. It carries a clean look on and off the rider. When worn the straps lay flush on the head, which only enhances the compact look.

How about the functionality of the helmet? LG spent much of their R&D in the wind tunnel. The Course helmet was created and critiqued with a rider in many riding position. Makes sense developing a helmet that way to me, but to my understanding LG was ahead of the curve on this one.  In short, when you change position from hoods to the drops the helmet is working harder for you to minimize the drag. When it was all said and done, they came up with an original design, that looks great, has an aerodynamic quality that is almost unrivaled by any other road helmet, and most importantly offers large vents to keep your noggin cool during the hot Summer Midwest days. And when you are sweating during those hot days, the anti-microbial padding inside the helmet will prevent you and your helmet from stinking.

LG takes a unique approach when addressing the safety, and comfort features of their innovative top tier helmet as well. All helmets in the U.S. must pass Department of Transportation Standards, which is good for all of us, but LG takes it one step farther by providing a safety light that attaches to the back by Velcro to the ratcheting system. It is a cool perk and it works great for those dusk/night rides! I know what you’re thinking, the light gets in the way of the comfort/and adjustment of the helmet? But that is not at all the case. The light stays out of the way, and you forget that its there protecting your rear from meeting a solid piece of steel. Even with the light attached the ratcheting system is still accessible and offers a wide range of micro-adjustments right at your finger tips. It gives a solid and snug placement on your head and all of these features only add 250 grams to your race day dress.

All in all, Louis Garneau offers great protection from the dangers of the open road that looks great, is aero, and is very breathable. If you are interested in riding the LG Course this year or click on the link below:

Check out the LG Course Helmet!

Thanks for Reading!

Team Camp Recap

Well, we wrapped up our first Olathe Subaru team camp on Sunday. The 5 day weekend was a blast, although the weather could have been about 30 degrees warmer. But overall, great team building experience and some great riding! As mentioned in the previous post, we started the team camp on New Year’s Eve and did a two hour ride over to the cross race to watch Garrick. We didn’t stick around too long because it was cold and we wanted to get back before dark. Thursday and Friday we did longer days getting in 72 and 87 mile days.

On Saturday we did the Joel Dyke Memorial Ride, which was a phenomenal tribute to Joel. The ride left from the shop, and despite it being a 30 degree morning and wet roads there were about 200+ riders that came out and another 100 or so that met at the hotel where there was a memorial service. It was extremely sad the circumstances in which this event were held, but incredibly inspiring the way the cycling community came together to support Joel’s family. After the Memorial Ride, we rode back to the house and got in another hour on the trainers since it was dark out.

Sunday, we were already planning on doing a gym day since snow was in the forecast and it was going to be one of the colder days. Sure enough, it was cold and there was a sprinkling of snow, so we went to the gym for some cross training. We did some plyo work, core, stretching, basketball, and hit up the climbing wall. After the morning gym session, we headed back to the house for a short trainer ride to wrap up the weekend.

Next weekend we will be in Arkansas with the GP Velotek crew for their training camp. We’re hopeful for some warmer weather and looking forward to Nebo and Magazine.

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Olathe Subaru Cycling Team Camp 2015

We decided to kick off the new year by doing an OSC team camp here in Kansas. Originally the plan was to head somewhere warm, like Texas, but we decided we’d get more of the guys to come out if we stayed local. The weather hasn’t exactly cooperated, but it’s still been a lot of fun. We kicked things off with a nice and cold 2 hr, 20 degree ride and a NYE party on Wednesday, and a 72 mile ride yesterday to kick off 2015. Today the weather looked promising and we were thinking we would take advantage and get in 100 miles. It started off decently warm and sunny, however, about the time we were unzipping our vests and commenting on how nice of a day it was, the clouds rolled in, the headwind picked up, and the temperature dropped. After about 3 hours we finally were able to enjoy a nice tailwind, and ended up with 87 miles.

Tomorrow we are planning on doing the Joel Dyke Memorial Ride. More info on that can be found at https://www.facebook.com/events/707390492702196/?ref_dashboard_filter=upcoming. IMG_1612IMG_1614



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Welcome to the new Olathe Subaru Cycling Team!

This whole thing started a couple years ago on the way home from Joe Martin Stage Race. That race was the spark that lit an inextinguishable fire to grow a sustainable elite team here in Kansas. Fast-forward hundreds of conversations and emails, a few lessons in business, and two years time, and here we are. The goal these past couple years has been to create something unique that people want to be a part of and support. We believe the Olathe Subaru Cycling team is the start of something big.

Being members of GP Velotek, we’ve had a great support system, and decided to build on the foundation that Jim Whittaker and his crew have created.

Velotek has always focused on junior development, and that was the groundwork that led to multiple national championship appearances by Benn Stover and Garrick Valverde. The development aspect of Velotek is certainly something we have strived to build on, and are still committed to grow. Creating an elite team that will mentor junior riders and be role models to the next generation was the first step in creating the unique framework for our team.

Secondly, we wanted to bridge the gap between racer and recreational cyclist. We partnered with Steve Ashley of Lawrence Bicycle Club to join our shared focus of developing riders that are new to the sport as well as mentoring juniors. LBC hosts some of the best group rides in Lawrence, and we wanted to be a part of that to help keep these rides fun and enjoyable for riders of all ability levels. This is one of many steps towards our long term goal of creating tighter knit cycling community in the Kansas City, Lawrence, and Olathe regions.

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As many of you are aware, Bill George’s Olathe Subaru has been critical to our success in building this team. We approached them last year with a clear vision in mind, and they believed in us and have agreed to support us again next year as the title sponsor of our team. We are excited to represent a company that is geared towards the active, on-the-go lifestyle that outdoor sportsmen and cyclist’s tend to live.

Olathe Subaru Cycling Team

In addition to Olathe Subaru and Lawrence Bike Club, we are happy to continue our partnerships with Trek Bicycle Store of Kansas City and Topeka Ear Nose and Throat, and we welcome Louis Garneau and Chamois Butt’r aboard for 2015. We also want to thank two true artists: David Tsai of Wirken Photography and Chris Ralston of Callahan Creek. David is responsible for the  pictures you see on our website and Facebook Page, and Chris has designed a first class kit for us for next year.

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Building on the successes and lessons from last year, we are coming into 2015 highly motivated. Returning this year are Garrick Valverde, Benn Stover, Michael Allison, Ian Silovsky, and Austin Elser. We’re excited to welcome Scott Williamson and Kent Woermann to the team. Our goal for this upcoming season is to win races, be advocates for the sport, and focus further on community outreach events. Thank you all so much for the continued support of our team, welcome to our website, and we look forward to seeing you all out on the road!

Also… we kicked off our first team camp of the year yesterday. We’ll share some pics and stories as the week goes on. #ridesubaru

Cheers